The Baldwin Public Library, the Botany Belles and Beaus Garden Club and Culvers paired up to distribute native pollinator friendly plants, native trees and ice cream to local residents on Thursday, August 20th. The continuing decrease in bee and bird numbers and an interest in increasing habitat for these creatures spurred the event. A St. Croix Valley Master Gardener Grant obtained by the Baldwin Public Library purchased the pollinator plants for the event. Attendees were able to choose from New Jersey Tea, Butterfly Weed, Purple Coneflower, Sneezeweed, Prairie Clover and Lance-leaf Coreopsis. These plants are all favorites of pollinators (bees and butterflies) plus have
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varied bloom times.
The trees were supplied by a grant from the Wisconsin Garden Club Federation that the Botany Belles and Beaus received. WGCF’s focus this year is on planting trees. Many River Birch were handed out. This is a medium sized landscape tree that is a host plant for several types of butterflies and moths. Its seeds and catkins feed birds. A couple varieties of dogwood and various evergreens were also available. Members of the garden club were available to answer questions about the plants and welcomed the interest in creating habitat for birds, bees and creatures. It was especially encouraging to have youngsters involved in choosing plants.
Members of the Windmill Days Court also conducted a pollinator activity with the youngsters and Culvers’ ice cream was an added treat.
If you are interested in creating habitat in your yard or garden for birds and pollinators, Nature’s Best Hope by Doug Tallamy or Bringing Nature Home by the same author are recommended reading. They are available for checkout through the public libraries. The National Wildlife Federation and Audubon websites also have a plant finder by zip code resource to identify plants that are especially pollinator and bird friendly.